“The NeverEnding Story” opens on 10-year-old Bastian (Barret Oliver), an avid reader who is still trying to come to terms with the death of his mother. On the way to school one day, Bastian is chased by bullies. He gives them the slip by ducking into a dusty bookstore, where he becomes intrigued by the strange tome that the grumpy old owner is reading. The man tells him it isn’t safe and not for him, which naturally piques his interest even further. When the proprietor goes to answer the phone, Bastian grabs the book and runs off to school.
Instead of going to class, Bastian settles down to read the book in the attic and finds himself immersed in the world of Fantasia and its inhabitants. We first meet Rockbiter, a towering stone creature, lamenting with his friends that the world is being destroyed by an all-consuming force known as “The Nothing.” They head to the Ivory Tower to ask the Childlike Empress (Tami Stronach) for help, but find that the girl is dying, her grave illness linked to the existential threat devastating everything in its path. The only hope is Atreyu (Noah Hathaway), a young warrior who is sent to find a cure.
Atreyu is pursued on his journey by a terrifying wolf-like creature called Gmork, and that’s not the only danger he faces on his way to the Southern Oracle to find out how to save the Empress. Along the way, he must also navigate the Swamps of Sadness and make it past two deadly sphinxes. Thankfully, he picks up with Falkor, a Luck Dragon, who flies him around places. The Oracle tells Atreyu he can save the Empress by giving her a new name, but can he make it back to the Ivory Tower in time?